It was recently reported in the news that the governor of the state of Quintana Roo (home to Cancun, Riviera Maya, Tulum, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen) is considering returning to red status as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases. As of now (5/19/21) nothing is confirmed but it does bring into question whether or not it’s safe to travel to Mexico right now.
Mexico follows a color-coded system (image below) that determines what activities are safe to resume and/or with what restrictions in a state-by-state basis. If Quintana Roo decides to change status to red, travelers planning to visit those destinations will be forced to make other plans but at the moment, anyone traveling to a destination designated “orange” should manage expectations understanding that the experience is going to be different than it was pre-pandemic.
Many popular vacation destinations do not color code by specific area within the region. Mexico is one of the regions that decides on the safety level and color based on smaller sections within the country making it possible for one section to be red and another to be yellow. Other countries have one designation even though some areas have fewer active Covid cases than others. For example, Jamaica has a “resilient corridor” where Covid cases are kept to a minimum by instituting strict health and safety protocols. Still, the country may be considered unsafe for travel due to Covid — at least according to the US State Department — while the “resilient corridor” has been safely open to tourists since mid-2020.
If the potential change in Quintana Roo has you concerned, consider resorts in Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos which as of now is considered yellow — things are opening up with precautionary methods in place.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.